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May 2, 2009
Match factsMay 3, 2009
Big PictureAustralia won their first series since beating Bangladesh in September with a strong victory in Abu Dhabi on Friday and the players can relax over the final two games of their United Arab Emirates tour. Sunday's fifth ODI and Thursday's Twenty20 are the last opportunities to tinker ahead of the World Twenty20 and Michael Clarke's men will also be looking forward to a short break before the tournament in England next month.
Clarke was on fire in the heat on Friday, registering 100 off 122 balls in the eight-wicket success, while Shane Watson battled to a timely 85 not out. "It's been a while since we've won a one-day series and to play the type of cricket we have in tough conditions, hot conditions, tough wickets, especially after coming from South Africa, the conditions have been so different," Clarke told AAP. "I'm rapt with the way we've performed."
Doug Bollinger set up the win with the first five wickets of his career as Pakistan reached 197. "A lot of credit has to go to our bowlers, Dougy's come in and he's had to wait a long time for his opportunity," Clarke said. "Not only has he repaid the selectors for showing him faith, but I think he's done a lot to push his name forward for future one-day selection and maybe even the Twenty20 World Cup."
Pakistan's series has gone downhill since their satisfying win in the opening game. The form of Shoaib Akhtar in the early overs of the second innings on Friday showed he still carries a dose of magic, which has been one of the few highlights for the "home" side in the UAE.
Form guide (last five ODIs, most recent first)Pakistan LLLWL
Watch out forShane Watson scraped and scrapped while carrying his bat on Friday in an unfamiliar style. He has become a muscular free-scorer in the past few seasons and now that he has proved himself with some serious runs in a long stay, he can enjoy the final encounters and seal his spot on the tour of England.
The opener Ahmed Shehzad, 17, could still be at school but is learning about international cricket instead. After a run-out mix-up on debut, he has followed his 4 with 40 and 43, showing his promise and gaining invaluable experience against a useful bowling line-up. An adventurous slog sweep ended his display on Friday, but if he goes further than a half-century his side will be in good health.
Team newsSome more experiments are likely now the final game is a dead rubber. Brett Lee could be trialled earlier than expected and Ben Laughlin will come into contention. Marcus North would like another go after his debut lasted only four balls thanks to Shoaib.
Australia (possible) 1 Brad Haddin (wk), 2 Shane Watson, 3 Marcus North, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 James Hopes, 8 Nathan Hauritz, 9 Stuart Clark, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Doug Bollinger.
Pakistan have gone close on occasions in the past three games without matching their opening success. Resting Umar Gul on Friday was a strange decision considering the situation of the series, and he should be back to partner Shoaib unless either of them are too tired.
Pakistan (possible) 1 Salman Butt, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Younis Khan (capt), 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Umar Gul, 9 Shoaib Akhtar, 10 Iftikhar Anjum, 11 Saeed Ajmal.
Pitch and conditionsWhile parts of Australia shiver, the UAE has been boiling and the tourists will be pleased to return home to more bearable conditions next week. On Friday the match started with the temperature around 43C and a maximum of 37C is expected on Sunday, along with another surface offering spin and low bounce.
Stats and Trivia
Quotes"He's bowled beautifully and the rest of the guys, the rest of the bowlers, probably didn't get the same rewards as Dougy, but they did a fantastic job."
"When Shoaib got two early wickets, we thought we could win, but Clarke and Watson batted superbly."
Younis Khan looks back at Friday's missed chance
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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